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Tegaserod

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tegaserod is used to treat women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, a condition that causes stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea) whose main symptom is constipation. Tegaserod is in a class of medications called serotonin agonists. It works by increasing muscle movement and production of fluids in the intestines. This increases the frequency of bowel movements and decreases pain and bloating.

How should this medicine be used?

Tegaserod comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day on an empty stomach shortly before a meal. To help you remember to take tegaserod, take it around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tegaserod exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will probably tell you to take tegaserod for 4–6 weeks. If your symptoms improve, your doctor may tell you to take tegaserod for another 4–6 weeks. Be sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling, and do not take tegaserod for longer than your doctor prescribes.

Tegaserod controls irritable bowel syndrome, but does not cure it. Continue to take tegaserod even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tegaserod without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking tegaserod, your IBS symptoms may return within 1–2 weeks.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking tegaserod,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tegaserod or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, herbal products, or nutritional supplements you are taking. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have diarrhea now or if you often have diarrhea, and if you have or have ever had gallbladder, kidney, or liver disease; a blockage in your intestines or unexplained stomach pain; abdominal surgery; jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (blockage of bile or digestive juices flowing into intestine that causes pain and/or jaundice).
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking tegaserod, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while you are taking tegaserod.
  • you should expect to have some diarrhea, especially during your first week of taking tegaserod. However, if diarrhea occurs frequently while you are taking tegaserod, or if you also have severe cramping, stomach pain, or dizziness, you should call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

You should skip the missed dose. Wait until the next time you are supposed to take tegaserod, and then take your normal dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tegaserod may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • gas
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • leg or back pain
  • joint pain or problems

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience the following symptoms or the symptoms mentioned in the special precautions section, call your doctor immediately:

  • stomach pain that is new, different, or worse than the pains you have had in the past
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • hoarseness

People with IBS need to have abdominal surgery, especially gall bladder surgery more often than people who do not have IBS. People who took tegaserod needed this type of surgery more often than people who did not take tegaserod. It is not known if taking tegaserod increases your chance of needing abdominal surgery. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking this medication.

Tegaserod may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting when getting up too quickly from a lying position

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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